Biological wolves identify as sheep in sheep’s clothing: On large private foundations

Samantha Suppiah
11 min readApr 29
a sheep in wolf’s clothing, Sailor Jillian, 2019

Today’s global landscapes of white supremacy and colonial hegemony are designed and dictated by private wealth, too often in the form of private foundations in too-close relationships with intergovernmental organisations and multinational corporations.

Let’s say such a private foundation suddenly grew conscious of this fact, so conscious that they became unable to continue ignoring existential guilt and shame around their own historic and present roles in strengthening the power structures that have brought us all planetary systems collapse.

Here I understand you may require a few minutes to complete your absolutely hysterical ROFLMFAO response.
Kindly compose yourself.
When you’re ready, take a deep breath, suspend your big cringe disbelief with me and consider that in their guilt, such private foundations do, in fact, wish to set things right.


Consider this piece a handy playbook: write to us at for your invoice.

What types of foundations are we talking about here?

Foundation Source explains the basics:

A private foundation is an independent legal entity set up for solely charitable purposes. Unlike a public charity, which relies on public fundraising to support its activities, the funding for a private foundation typically comes from a single individual, a family, or a corporation. Both public charities and private foundations are classified as tax-exempt.

The word “foundation” is commonly incorporated into the names of many different types of non-profits. But a private foundation is a very specific and distinct type of charitable vehicle.

A private foundation stays under the control of the donor, meaning donors determine the mission; whom to include on the board; where the funds are invested; and how and where funds are given away.
It can be set up with the intent to exist in perpetuity. Donors’ charitable giving can continue as long as the foundation exists, and can become a living family heirloom that’s passed from one generation to the next.

Samantha Suppiah

Southeast Asian trickster. Design strategist for decolonial sustainability & regeneration.